Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) and Salvador Tineo Arroyo (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) notched the first pole positions of the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season at the Circuit De La Comunidad Valenciana Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain.
The Belgian set the new track record on the 4,005-km road course in 1:40,373, lapping three tenths faster than the 2015 pole position in the Superpole qualifying round to score his first career NASCAR pole. Hometown hero Borja Garcia (#1 SPV Racing Ford Mustang) ended up second by a mere 55 one thousandths of a second and will start from the front row for the first ELITE 1 Division race of the weekend at 1:30 PM CET.
“Qualifying was good, I have a good feeling with the car but the race will be hard. Having the new track record is always nice and to start the new season from the pole is great,” said Kumpen.
Frederic Gabillon (#3 Tepac RDV Compétition Ford Mustang), 2015 Junior “Jerome Sarran” Trophy winner, Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) and Florian Renauer (#5 Dexwet Renauer Team Ford Mustang) rounded out the top-5 to make it five different teams on the first three rows of the grid.
Italian debutant Carlo Forte (#6 Double-T by Nocentini Ford Mustang) led the Challenger Trophy classification with the 16th fastest time in the first round of qualifying.
NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Brandon Gdovic (#46 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) will start 13th in his second NASCAR Whelen Euro Series experience.
The ELITE 2 Superpole went to Salvador Tineo Arroyo (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS), who set an ELITE 2 Division track record lapping in 1:41,782 and edging Stienes Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) by one tenth of a second. The Belgian spinned went in the gravel during Superpole, causing a short red flag, but was able to rejoin the field and post the second fastest time.
“It is fantastic to start from the pole position in ELITE 2 here in Valencia, my home track. I think this year will be very good for me, it is my second season in NASCAR and I have a good experience now,” said Tineo Arroyo.
Russian rookie Roman Mavlanov (#15 Dexwet Renauer Team Ford Mustang) was impressive in his NASCAR debut and will start from the third place on the grid, ahead of Christian Malcharek (#46 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) and Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang). Eric De Doncker (#98 Motorsport 98 Ford Mustang) was the first Legend driver in ninth place.
Mathias Lauda and Freddy Hunt will start their first race as teammates on the #66 DF1 Chevrolet SS respectively from the 14th and 13th place.
The ELITE 1 Race 1 will start at 13:30 CET, while the ELITE 2 race will go green at 17:30 CET.